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Monday, September 13th, 2010
9:58 am - 12 Books, 12 Months Challenge
So this was suggested by khamsin (her original post) and I've joined in the group. Below are the rules. As you'll see, I'm a little late in getting my list posted, but so what else is new? I'm also in the midst of reading and reviewing books for the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database. So I'll be reading and reviewing like crazy. I could have picked some longer or denser books for my list, but I didn't want to set myself up to fail. Anyway, if you want to join in, go right ahead. Oh, and if you do, let me know where your list and reviews will be posted so I can follow along. And yes, I'll be posting this on FB as well.

The Rules

12 Books, 12 Months Challenge

* Pick 12 titles from your To Read Pile. These should be titles you currently own in whatever format you prefer.
* Acquisition of other formats or translations is permitted. So, if you have a paperback but want to read on your Kindle, you can get a Kindle copy. If you have a library copy but want to buy your own, that's kosher. Heck, if you own a copy and want to check another out from the library, I'm not gonna stop you.
* Post your list in your public space of choice by September 1, 2010. If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your list.
* Read all 12 titles between now and September 5, 2011. Might as well tack on an extra long weekend at the end for cramming.
* When you finish a title on your list, post about it in your public space of choice. If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your review.
* Once a month, I'll post a round-up of the reviews posted from that month so that we all know what everyone else has read.

My List
I chose a lot of books that have recommended to me over the years. It feels rude to let suggested books sit for so long. So, I'm going to try to catch up.

Alone In The Kitchen With Eggplant – Jenni Ferrari-Adler, ed. (recommended by lalien)

Pretty Little Mistakes – Heather McElhatton

Carter Beats The Devil – Glen David Gold (recommended by Anthony)

A Brother's Price – Wen Spencer (recommended by lalien)

Why We Read What We Read – Lisa Adams and John Heath

When You Are Engulfed In Flames – David Sedaris (recommended and given to me by Eric)

Ill Met By Moonlight – Sarah Hoyt (recommended by Michele)

The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins (recommended by Tom)

The Gold Bug Variations – Richard Powers (recommended by mortalfool411)

Soulless – Gail Carriger

Illyria – Elizabeth Hand

Halting State – Charles Stross

current mood: busy

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Monday, June 21st, 2010
12:48 pm - Disconnected
Maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's the solstice. Maybe it's just me, but I feel very disconnected today. I didn't really notice it until I was driving and I realized that everything just seemed slightly off. I was noticing details but not seeing the big picture. Everything seemed to be somewhat slower than normal. I am just detached. It was such a severe feeling that I wondered if I should be driving. I made it to the law school just fine. Let's hope that this feeling dissipates before I have to leave.

The scariest part is that it is affecting the way I interact with people today as well. I know what my responses should be and I say the right things to talk with people, but I just have no actual feeling on the inside. I wonder if this is how sociopaths feel all the time. Not exactly dead on the inside but just disassociated with everything and everyone else.

The one positive thing is that in some ways everything seems new even familiar items and pathways. You notice details that you've overlooked or somehow see things as an alien might. That's kind of interesting.

current mood: numb

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
1:08 pm - I Wish I Had My IPod
I'm at the law school today doing my volunteer work by learning the administrator side of the new-to-me career services management system. It's not all that complicated especially since I'm not doing a lot of the serious updating, and so I really wish I had my iPod to help keep me going. I think that my plan yesterday of not really eating much until Mom's birthday dinner complete with cake was not necessarily a good one. I'm now rather tired and run down. And to top it all off, I'm following the same plan again today since there's cake and ice cream at 4.00 and then family dinner at Fogo de Chao at 5.45. Sometimes I'm not the brightest crayon in the box. Maybe some caffeine will help.

current mood: hungry

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Thursday, February 18th, 2010
3:41 pm - Another Thing I Wish I Had Money To Buy
Custom blended BPAL scent. Ah well. I guess paying over $250 for an ounce of perfume, even a custom one, is a bit crazy.

I'm back in Kansas City and getting resettled here. I'm not feeling amazing right now as I haven't slept the best the last two nights. I'm now in the market for a mattress. Perhaps that'll make a difference.

current mood: tired

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Tuesday, February 16th, 2010
9:15 am - Flying Home-ish
I'm headed back to Kansas City today from Seattle. It's been a good trip, and I feel like I've been useful while I've been here. Staring out the large picture window at my brother's place and seeing the amazing view this morning reinforces how absolutely beautiful this city is. It would take a lot of getting used to in order to live here, especially as driving on some of the hills scares the shit out of me. It brings me around again to the idea that I'd like to end up in a city that I already know. I'd rather not have to learn yet another new city. I can do it, but it just gets old after a while to keep getting used to living in a place only to pick up and move to a new one where I have to start the whole process over again. That being said, it doesn't mean I can't enjoy this stunningly gorgeous day and view while I'm here.

I'm not 100% sure I'm ready to put down roots, but I feel like I'm closer now than I may ever have been. Maybe that's the sleep deprivation from getting up at 5am talking. I suppose we'll see.

Fortunately, Eric is doing well after his knee surgery. He's up and about with a bit of a limp and keeping the crutches nearby just in case. I'm glad things went so well especially as I'm sure he's been less than thrilled with being so limited in what and how much he can do. Fingers crossed that the rest of the healing goes as well as it has so far.

current mood: sleepy

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Sunday, February 14th, 2010
6:37 pm - A Good Reason To Post Again
If you've been reading my journal for over a year then you know that I always post on February 14th, but not about Valentine's Day (or at least not directly). Today is the anniversary of my grandma's death and it's always hard. You'd think that after eight years that it would be easier. And to be honest, it is easier by a bit, but it still hurts and I still miss her.

This year I'm in Seattle with my brother since he had knee surgery on Friday. I'm here helping out while he recovers. I'd like to think that taking care of family is a good way both to celebrate Valentine's Day and to remember my grandma as she always took care of the family.

Two years ago I decided that I was going to start trying to enjoy Valentine's Day as a day of love, appreciation and friendship. I've been working on becoming a being of unconditional love and will continue to do so. I'm trying to take time to tell the people I care about that I love them just as they are, because it's possible that I might not be here tomorrow to say it. You just never know.

Eight years ago today the world lost Estelle Yankiver, a woman of substance, wit, love, intelligence, humor and fire. She is dearly loved and sorely missed by many, including me.

And as she used to say to me, I say to you: love ya!

current mood: okay

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
8:37 am - Where Do We Go From Here?
Dear Everyone,

I'm sorry I've been so out of touch lately and for all appearances gone from lj. I know I've said it before, but I'm going to make an effort to update more. There's not much to talk about now, of course, since I've moved back from London to Kansas City and I'm kind of in a holding pattern. But I'm sure I'll think of something. Anyway, please, plesae, please don't take my absence and silence and seeming disregard of messages/emails/etc. personally. I've just been hermiting while licking my wounds and figuring out where to go from here.

Love to you all.


current mood: tired

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Thursday, August 27th, 2009
9:11 pm - An In-between Time
The wind is blowing outside in a way that sounds like winter but isn't. It smells like fall but isn't. Earlier it looked like summer but isn't. Every day right now is an odd mix of seasons that brings about a similar mix of feelings. I suppose the rather unknown nature of the weather just mimics the rather unknown nature of my life right now. soon enough I'll have some kind of plan figured out... at least maybe through October. Maybe.

current mood: indescribable

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Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
11:45 pm - Just Before Bed
I just discovered that Animalympics has a Wikipedia entry! And apparently some company in Germany has released it on dvd!

In other news, I'm sick with a cold. Feeling a bit better than I was a few days ago, but this is the worst time for it considering my dissertation is due on Sept. 7th. Effing hell.

Ok, time to sleep so I can get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow to work.

current mood: sick

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Monday, August 17th, 2009
2:22 pm - I Can Has Internet?
Yes, I can! I'm back online at home. More on the story later and updates on how the show went. For now though, I need to have some lunch.

current mood: jubilant

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
6:31 am - My Alarm Goes Off In 44 Minutes
I have not yet slept. Today is going to suck.

I've got a hair appointment at 10:15 then I'll have the afternoon to do dissertation work until rehearsal at 5.00. We'll be done at 9.00, but then it'll be close to 10:00 by the time I get home. I really need the research time, but I might need a nap more. Oh, if only I could move my hair appointment. Though to be honest, I'm not sure I could sleep right now even if I had the time.

I've been reading old, old, old lj entries and it's renewed my desire to update. So here's to hoping that I stick with it.

current mood: tired

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2:15 am - Sleep Is Fickle
I can't sleep even though I'm tired. I nearly fell asleep on the couch downstairs many, many hours ago but since it was not even 8:00pm, I pushed through and stayed awake. Now Hypnos is punishing me.

Rehearsals have been going well overall. Some days are better than others. Mostly I'm looking forward to the show being done. That sounds bad probably, but I've got so much other stuff going on that I'm ready to have more of my own time back to take care of non-show things... like my dissertation.

For more info on the show, you can check out our website: The Common Good.

current mood: tired

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Saturday, August 1st, 2009
8:16 am - Robot +2
I'm a birthday princess today. Not doing anything special. We've got costume fittings and rehearsal. I might grab a drink after that, but since I'll have all the props and stuff with me, it's unlikely that I'll be able to do much else.

I was recently reminded of how much I love food on a stick and I started trying to think back to when my love of food on a stick began. Was it at Ren Fest with the chicken on a stick booths? No, even earlier than that. I believe it can be traced to Chicken Chan, a long-extinct fast food place in Metcalf South Mall. I can still remember going up the escalator and begging my mom to go to Chicken Chan. They had chicken tenders, you guessed it, on a stick. They also had perhaps the best cottage fries I've ever had (though maybe nostalgia colors my evaluation of them now). It was an incredibly small place, just a counter where you ordered, maybe one or two small tables and a counter along the wall where you could sit to eat. Getting a paper basket of chicken on a stick and cottage fries and sitting on one of the tall counter stools with my feet dangling toward the floor was a joy. I remember playing with the sticks afterward and thinking how much more fun they made chicken tenders. Hats off to you, Chicken Chan.

I just did a quick search for Chicken Chan and found this little article from the St. Petersburg Times in 1980 about the opening of a Charlie Chan. I have stand corrected that the place was called Charlie Chan and not Chicken Chan, but in my head, they will always be Chicken Chan.

current mood: nostalgic

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Friday, July 10th, 2009
10:46 pm - That Was A Waste Of 98 Minutes
I just finished watching The Ramen Girl with Brittany Murphy. I figured it wouldn't be great, but I hoped that I might at least come away from it with something more than a little over an hour and a half of my life gone and a desire for tsukimi soba. Alas, this was not the case. Since I seemed to have downloaded the edited version and it looks like the running time listed on the movie for European markets is nearly a half hour longer, I wonder if those extra minutes would make it better or worse.

I can say, however, that The Young Victoria was a very pretty movie to watch. I have no idea about its accuracy, but it was beautifully made regardless.

I probably should have gotten more work done today, but I've been feeling under the weather all day. So I feel justified in taking a few hours out to watch movies.

Monday Jackie, Warren and I are headed on a quick jaunt somewhere outside of the city proper to meet with some of the higher-ups at the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline, which is the charity to which all the proceeds from the show I'm producing are going. We're going to discuss a relationship between them and the show and to see about having someone with personal experience of the disaster and the aftermath come and speak to the cast.

Next Friday and Saturday we are headed to the Isle of Wight to see about costume stuff. I'm hoping we'll also have a chance to take a look around from a tourist perspective. Well, not Warren so much since he's from there, but I'd like to at least. Perhaps I can grab a photo of Yarmouth Castle for my mom even though the famous ship wasn't named for this particular Yarmouth Castle (I don't think). Too bad we have work to do or I'd demand a trip to Blackgang Chine which is apparently the oldest amusement park in the UK and possibly the world, especially since they have Crossbones ("a pirate themed adventure playground") and a place called Rumpus Mansion (heehee, rumpus).

current mood: okay

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2:22 pm - Sometimes The Universe Likes Me
So I'm now planning a US Tour in September. I'm thinking I should get tshirts made. I'm looking at hitting up KC, Philly, Seattle, Chicago and Dubuque. There are certain already scheduled dates and places, but I'm still figuring out some of the more flexible times. However, it manages to work itself out that I will hopefully get to see some fantastic shows and see a bunch of wonderful people.

Scheduled Dates
12th - Lawrence, KS - Murder By Death @ Bottleneck
19th - Philadelphia, PA - Kurt Halsey Art Opening @ Art Star
20th - Philadelphia, PA - The Weakerthans @ World Cafe
21st - Seattle, WA - Pearl Jam @ Key Arena
22nd - Seattle, WA - Pearl Jam @ Key Arena
26th - Dubuque, IA - Wedding

If only I could get Against Me and Jonah in the listings...

current mood: pleased

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Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
10:53 pm - The Sidewalks Are Watching Me Think About You
Prior to the last few months, it's been a long time since someone I cared about moved away from me when I wasn't also moving away from a place. The last time was May of 2004. I remember that it hurt like hell, but time and distance had dulled the memory of just how much that meant. During the past month the universe has contrived to remind me what it feels like to be one of the ones who's left instead of being the one who's leaving. Two of my very dear friends on the course have returned to their lives Stateside and I can't help but realize that their stories have now diverged from mine. We say we'll keep in touch, and we will, for a while... trading emails with less and less frequency, with less and less substance. We say we'll visit, and maybe we will, but probably more as an additional perk of going to a place rather than a purposeful trip. Maybe I'm pessimistic. Maybe I'm just melancholy with a dual loss in short succession. Maybe I'm picking at old scars while tending to new cuts. All I know is my heart hurts. And I'm sorry for all the times I've been the one who's leaving and made the ones who're left feel this way.

current mood: sad

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Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
11:39 pm - Things I Didn't Realize I'd Miss When I Moved To England
1- Egg whites sold in containers in the grocery store

2- Fireflies

current mood: restless

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
8:05 am - Moved
So I've moved into a new place in London. I'm in the same area as before but a bigger yet cheaper place. I'll talk more about it later. Things have been both slow and crazy since I last posted. My brain is a little too fried from running auditions for a show I'm producing (and doing lots of other things that would give me other titles). We've got call backs for that today and will hopefully have it cast by Friday. I don't know if I'll be able to update tonight, but there will be a long-ish one tomorrow. I'll hopefully get caught up on reading by the end of the weekend.

current mood: crazy

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Monday, April 27th, 2009
11:21 pm - Yes!
Pearl Jam is playing London on August 18th. They're also playing Manchester on August 17th. Please, please, please let there be some pre-sale tickets left for non-European Ten Club members by the time they go on sale for all members.

current mood: giddy

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Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
1:11 am - She Lives
I have no excuse for not posting. I wish I did.

For now, here's one of the most interesting opening paragraphs of a novel (Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff) that I've read in a while. Maybe I'm a bit biased.

"It's a room an uninspired playwright might conjure while staring at a blank page: White walls. White ceiling. White floor. Not featureless, but close enough to raise suspicion that its few contents are all crucial to the upcoming drama."

In other news, I'm fighting off being sick, trying to work on this stupid essay, looking forward to sombraala's visit, going to the theatre tomorrow night and lord only knows what else. I should probably also be sleeping.

Oh, and I found something that is even more vile-tasting than liquid Ny-Quil. It's called Beechams All In One. It's fairly similar in use though it's supposed to be non-drowsy. Anyway, it starts off with a slight citrus (maybe orange) flavor and then blends with a strong hit of menthol. It's as if you are drinking Vicks Vapo-Rub thinned out with a bit of oj. Yeah, it's gross. Oh, and the taste lingers so everything you drink after that for quite a while only adds to the flavor profile of horrible.

PS- I am more than a little bit in love with Lee Pace in eyeliner. I watched The Fall the other day and was quite impressed overall. Then again, maybe I was dazzled by Lee Pace, his close-cropped hair and his bare arms. Le sigh.

current mood: tired

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